After a long break Game of Thrones has returned to our screens, and season 7’s first episode Dragonstone was a real treat.
Stuffed full of one-liners, palace intrigue, musical guests (yes, really) and big plot developments, it was a feast for the eyes and ears – but we were still left hungry for a little more knowledge after the credits rolled.
So with that in mind, here are the biggest questions and talking points after our return trip to the Seven Kingdoms.
1. What is Arya’s next move?
After taking her revenge on the Frey family at The Twins, Arya (Maisie Williams) seemed to have plans to make her way to King’s Landing and finally remove Cersei’s name from her list.
But have those plans changed with her chance meeting of some friendly Lannister soldiers with songs in their hearts? Might she realise that there’s more to life than revenge, and return home to Winterfell? And if so, could there be another Stark family reunion on the horizon?
2. Wait, was that Ed Sheeran?
Oh yeah – speaking of Arya’s adventures, in tonight’s episode she ran into a cameo-ing Ed Sheeran, with the bestselling singer-songwriter performing a previously-unused song from George RR Martin’s source novels and just hanging about being a bit distracting.
The whole thing confused and enraged some viewers, but we’re sure Sheeran superfan Maisie Williams was very happy.
3. What is Euron’s gift?
After being rebuffed by Cersei (Lena Headey) despite his offer of marriage, leathery pirate Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) promised to return with a special gift for the Queen to change her mind – but what could he be offering? A nice cushion for the Iron Throne? A new paint set for one of her giant floor maps?
Or is he planning to smash the fleet of his niece and nephew Theon and Yara (Alfie Allen and Gemma Whelan), decimating Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) military might at a stroke?
Hmmm…. hoping for the cushion, personally.
4. What did The Hound’s vision mean?
Apart from cracking wise and being a general badass, this week’s episode saw the Hound (Rory McCann) connecting with his spiritual side, seeing a vision in the flames of Red Priest Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) that could hint to the future of the series.
In the fire he saw The Wall, the White Walkers’ army of the dead (now complete with enormous zombie giants, as we saw in an earlier part of the episode) and a castle by the sea, as well as a mountain shaped like an arrowhead.
Now, it seems likely be that this castle is one of the ones on The Wall mentioned by Jon earlier in the episode –Eastwatch by the sea – which means The Hound and the Brotherhood are headed on a mission to take on the White Walkers alongside Jon and co.
And at the moment, the new King in the North needs all the help he can get.
5. Will Jon and Sansa clash?
One of the episode’s most tense moments saw the beginnings of a power struggle between Jon (Kit Harington) and sister Sansa (Sophie Turner), after Jon decided not to strip the lands from traitorous houses the Karstarks and the Umbers out of a desire to avoid punishing children for the sins of their (now dead) fathers.
Sansa, however, believed they should be rewarding the loyal by handing out the Umber and Karstark lands like candy, and made her views VERY clear in front of all Jon’s Northern Lords. Awkward.
And with Littlefinger sniffing around and trying to stoke the tensions between them, we could see this Northern situation going South very quickly…
6. Did you spot the Harry Potter reference?
One of the only new characters joining Game of Thrones this year is Archmaester Marwyn, played by Jim Broadbent and seemingly spending his time giving tutelage to new recruit Samwell Tarly (John Bradley).
But fans couldn’t help comparing Marwyn to one of Broadbent’s most recognisable roles – ineffectual teacher Professor Slughorn in the Harry Potter films, especially when Sam began looking for his help in researching dark magic in the restricted section of the library. JK probably has lawyers at the ready…
7. Was that Ser Jorah Mormont?
In amongst Sam’s slightly depressing life at Maester school, there was an interesting development – the return of a severely greyscaled Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), the former advisor to Daenerys who left to find a cure for his condition in the last series.
Clearly he hasn’t had much luck, with the fictional disease already ravaging his body and trapping him in quarantine in the citadel – but we’re betting Sam might find something in the restricted section of the library to help him out.
8. Are Jon and Daenerys about to finally meet?
Speaking of Sam’s investigations, this week’s episode saw him discover and write to Jon about an important fact. It turns out that under southern fortress Dragonstone there is a vast mine of dragonglass, the obsidian-like substance that can kill the White Walkers and that is currently in short supply.
Despite his misgivings, then, we’re betting we’ll soon see the newly-informed Jon head down to meet the Dragon Queen and try to shore up support against the forces of darkness. Finally, the two central characters of the entire series could be about to meet.
9. And finally…how good is it to be back?
It’s been the longest wait yet for a new series, but it was worth the break. And if the trailer for next week’s episode is anything to go by, we still have plenty to look forward to…
See you then!
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres exclusively on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV at 2am, repeated at 9pm on the same day